WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh $206,062 to develop data and analysis platforms that cybersecurity researchers can use to understand and counter cyberattacks.
The award was made through the S&T Cyber Security Division’s Information Marketplace for Policy and Analysis of Cyber-risk & Trust (IMPACT) project. IMPACT supports the global cyber-risk research community by coordinating and developing real-world data and information-sharing capabilities, including tools, models and methodologies. To accelerate solutions for cyber-risk issues and infrastructure security, IMPACT enables empirical data and information-sharing between and among the global academic, industry and government cybersecurity research and development (R&D) community.
“Cybersecurity R&D requires real-world data to develop advanced knowledge, test products and technologies, and prove the utility of research in large-scale network environments,” said Acting DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology William N. Bryan. “This project will allow researchers to focus on data analysis, bypassing the time-consuming data-building phase.”
The university will conduct its work under a project titled “A Query-able Platform for Online Crime Repositories.” Its objective is to enhance and deploy a sustainable backend data-collection capability and front end web-based platforms that will allow cybersecurity researchers to search cyber-crime information. This body of data aggregates anonymous online marketplace data and information on search-redirection attacks (an attack type that is primarily used for attracting customers to illicit or fraudulent websites).
“The project will benefit researchers by providing them free access to voluminous amounts of empirical data related to online criminal activity that was collected over long periods of time,” said IMPACT Program Manager Erin Kenneally. IMPACT lowers the barrier to entry for cybersecurity R&D by addressing the operational, legal and administrative costs that often impede R&D innovation. “By joining the IMPACT ecosystem, the researchers will be able to make this valuable data available to the research community in an efficient and responsible manner.”
This project will enhance empiricism and reproducibility, foster anti-cybercrime economic incentives and interventions for stakeholders, and accelerate the development of solutions around cyber-risk issues and infrastructure security, said Kenneally. It will also enable different researchers to conduct a variety of analyses with identical datasets, ultimately facilitating reproducibility and more objective comparison of research results in support of evidence-based policy and technology solutions.
S&T’s Cyber Security Division mission is to enhance the security and resilience of the nation’s critical information infrastructure and the Internet by developing and delivering new technologies, tools and techniques to defend against cyberattacks. The division, which is part of S&Ts’ Homeland Security Advanced Projects Agency, conducts and supports technology transitions and leads and coordinates R&D among the R&D community, which includes DHS customers, government agencies, the private sector and international partners. For more information about CSD, visit https://www.dhs.gov/cyber-research.